Local 338 is an amalgamated union representing four separate bargaining units: Kaiser Aluminum - production/maintenance and clerical/technical workers, Kaiser Alutek workers, and LB Foster pre-cast/railroad ties division workers. We number more than 1000 private sector members who work primarily in manufacturing industries in North Eastern Washington.


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Dan Wilson


The Incentive Compensation Plan ended the month of November with a core cash flow exceeding the adjusted cap. The four modifiers which consist of (1) Delivery Performance (2) Claims Rate (3) Total Case Incident Rate, and (4) Lost Time Injuries, ended the month of November 2% below the previous year. The December results won’t be available for a few more weeks, but once I have the information I’ll give everyone an update at one of our upcoming monthly union meetings.

Each year more than a million adults are stricken with the painful and debilitating virus called shingles. According to the Center for Disease Control, adults who are 60 and older should be vaccinated to reduce their risk of getting the virus. The vaccination is expensive, costing as much as $400. However, if you are at least 60 years old, and using the United Health Care plan (not the RX plan) shingles vaccinations are covered. Be sure to check with your plan provider first to understand your coverage.

Most doctor offices in our area are not equipped to store the vaccine but, the Walgreens Pharmacy at Sprague and Sullivan has it available and can give shingles shots using your UHC coverage with a $15 co-pay. If you are with Group Health you must call them first and make arrangements.

One of the most effective ways to control medical costs is to find a primary care physician and get periodic wellness exams. Early detection of health related problems is extremely important and can help minimize costs in the long run. Another way to hold down costs is to select doctors within your plan’s network. Doctors and specialists who are in your network have agreed to set rates which are deemed customary and reasonable.

Members can also reduce costs through better use of the RX plan. If you take name brand prescription drugs talk to your doctor about prescribing a generic brand. If you are using long term maintenance drugs you can save a lot of money by using the 90 day mail order system through your Express Scripts plan. You should always take the time to review all your medical bills and Explanation of Benefits (EOB) to be sure you are not being charged for services you did not receive. If you find a billing error contact your plan administrator and get it corrected. Your group insurance book explains how a self-audit of your medical statement could earn you money. The Company will pay you 50% of the net savings up to $500 for correcting errors and overcharges. For details go to page 64 of the yellow insurance handbook. If you don’t have a copy of the medical benefits book, let me know.

In Solidarity,

Dan Wilson, President, Local 338